This month’s playdate is about hiking.

Members of the BNP staff using wooden sticks to trace their way down a slippery trail at Mt. Banahaw de Tayabas.

When we were little kids, some of us wonder how it’s like to climb a real mountain, thus we enjoyed playing and climbing on piles of rock, sand, or soil, which served as our “mountains” way back then.

And now that we’re all grown ups, an opportunity of climbing a “real” mountain must not be missed. Excited as we were, we’ve planned and scheduled the date of our adventure trip. After that, we secured all the necessary permits/documents that were needed for us to make this adventure possible.

Our adventure destination is at Mt. Banahaw, an active volcano which is about 2,170 m above sea level, and is located between the provinces of Quezon and Laguna. Since most of us are first-timers, and we’re not to camp overnight, our itinerary was just to reach the first camp or Camp 1 of Mt. Banahaw via Tayabas Trail (Banahaw de Tayabas) which is roughly 1 – 2 hours climb from the jump off point.

And so, with our bags packed with lunch, snacks and “hydrations”, we set off and began our journey.

From Lucena City, we commuted to the city of Tayabas via jeepney, and got off at the city proper, then from there, we took a tricycle going to the jump-off point of Banahaw de Tayabas, which is located at Brgy. Lalo.

After final briefing and preparations, we began with our trek. At first, the trail seemed to be smooth and easy, so we’re just joking and laughing around as we climb. But as we went further up, we started to feel tired and exhausted, as the trail becomes harder, muddier, and rockier. It was then that we started to take some 5 to 10 minute refreshment breaks, which we took very frequently. 😛

As mentioned earlier, most of us were first timers, so minor accidents like slipping, being bitten by land leeches (which are very prominent in those areas), and getting minor cuts from thornbushes, were really inevitable.

After two hours of trekking, we finally arrived at Camp 1. Since it was almost lunchtime, we’ve washed ourselves clean then we prepared our table by lining it with fresh banana leaves where we placed our foods. It’s time for boodle fight!

After we finished lunch, we left the camp. Nope, the adventure is not finished yet, rather, we’re up again for another one. Our colleague-slash-guide told us that there is a nearby waterfall in the area, so we decided to go there and pay a visit. The trail going there is not that easy. We can say that the real adventure started here. There were many rocky and muddy slopes along the way and most of us experienced a hard time going there, but the journey was really rewarding. After a short splash of refreshment and enjoyment, and it’s also getting late in the afternoon, we decided to pack our things and go home.

All in all, the experience was indeed very challenging for all of us, but we can say that it’s all worth it. Hope to see you again on our next adventure! :)